The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has completed on-site inspections of mandatory winterization efforts, and inspection results show the independently owned electric generation fleet and electric transmission companies serving the ERCOT region are ready for winter weather.
Inspections were completed at more than 300 electric generation units, representing 85 percent of the megawatt hours lost during 2021’s Winter Storm Uri due to outages, and 22 transmission station facilities, ERCOT said on Dec. 30.
ERCOT has filed a preliminary summary inspection report with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas and will submit its final inspection report on January 18, 2022 for review and any potential enforcement action. In 2021, the Legislature increased the maximum penalties for violating weatherization rules to $1,000,000 per day per violation.
Of 302 generation resources inspected, some generators had exceeded PUC winterization requirements. Only ten generation resources inspected had items identified on the day of inspection requiring correction. For example, a generation unit may have needed a windscreen to be compliant, but it was not yet installed on the day of inspection. Many items like this have now been completed since the inspection occurred and all ten units are still operational. The 10 generation units have a total capacity of 2,129 megawatts, representing about 1.7 percent of the total ERCOT generation fleet.
Of the 22 transmission station facilities inspected, ERCOT found that six had potential identified deficiencies, most of which have already been corrected. These were generally minor items, such as cabinet heaters out of service or missing weather stripping on cabinet doors on the day of inspection. Most of these items have already been corrected.
ERCOT will conduct follow-up inspections on the generation and transmission facilities with potential identified issues.
ERCOT and its contractors have spent more than 3,600 hours on these inspection-related activities to date. Additionally, ERCOT and PUC staff are actively monitoring the compliance plans of the generation resources that requested additional time to finalize compliance with the new winterization regulations.